Episcopal Church
of the Resurrection
1433 NW R.D. Mize Road
Blue Springs, Missouri  64015
(816) 228-4220

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Services at 8:00 and 10:30 am tomorrow
WATCH ON Facebook LIVE OR YouTube.
Loaves and Fishes

Sunday, August 2, 2020
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

Holy Eucharist Rite I at 8:00 am on-line
Holy Eucharist Rite II at 10:30 am on-line
It was a Happy Birthday for Ian!
Dear Friends at Resurrection, Happy Birthday
Golly Moses!  I mentioned to Fr. David that it was going to be Ian's 90th birthday - how much?- and that I hoped he would get a few cards from old friends in MO.   It's been hard these past three-plus years in Wisconsin, especially with his increasing loss of memory,  and we still feel very alone.
What a surprise!   At last count he got 45 cards - and not a duplicate in the bunch!    There were several "different ones" with movable parts or singing which produced whoops,  but nothing one couldn't show Mother.  (She likes those too.)
Thank you, thank you all, for sending them  - and on time too!  The pile impressed the heck out of our neighboring apartment holders.  We go over them in the evening, and I try to help him remember.  God bless you, each one of you, for bringing such joy.
- Joyce McIntosh
Streaming on Facebook and YouTube
We are now live streaming services to both our parish Facebook page and YouTube. To access R esurrection's YouTube channel type in Episcopal Church of Blue Springs, MO in the "search" box on the YouTube site and it will take you directly to the channel. Once on the channel you must "subscribe" to get live video.
Monday Matters - RenewalWorks
Back in the day, I did a fair amount of traveling for RenewalWorks, often meeting in churches in towns I'd never visited before. I loved the adventure, the exploration, the learning. With the help of Google, I'd find my way, but I was always glad to see signs that confirmed I was on the right track. The signs read: The Episcopal Church welcomes you. I could spot them a mile away. I'm grateful for them. Good branding. As far as it goes.

In recent days, I've had occasion to think about what it means to be welcoming. Our church is putting together a parish profile. I'm reminded that every profile I ever read describes the church as welcoming. My experience of church visits can suggest otherwise. The folks who craft those profiles are usually folks at the core of those communities, folks who feel the welcome, which is wonderful. I contrast that with the young woman I met on the steps of a church in a big city. She looked up at the imposing fa├žade and asked: Am I allowed to go in there?
Renewal Works
Last week, Scott Gunn, Executive Director of Forward Movement, smart guy, faithful disciple, creative Christian,  wrote a reflection after nine years as leader of that ministry. He's done an amazing job, and we are all grateful to him for his leadership. His reflection included comments about the state of the wider church. He explored the quality of our welcome.  He wrote: "We need a new slogan. 'The Episcopal Church welcomes you,' sets up a dynamic of a club to which new members of many kinds will be admitted, rather than a mission-focused, outward facing movement in which we seek to make disciples of all nations. It isn't enough to be nice to people who show up in our churches. We need to get out there and invite people to know the transforming grace of Jesus Christ. We need an active urgent slogan - because we need to be urgently active in the world."

I've played around with supplemental slogans over the years, as I've sensed what Scott more ably articulated. Our slogan has been plenty nice. It's key. But it may not go far enough. Our church in Chicago embraced the following vision: If you come here, you will grow. That helps get at the transforming quality we seek in church, the challenge of the gospel we need in our culture these days. But I'm not sure it says enough about how we connect with the world, or how in the language of RenewalWorks, how we pastor the wider community.

I was thinking about this in morning reflection time last week, as I read from the final chapters of Paul's letter to the Romans. The passages represent his summing up comments, his so-what factor for this church in a culture not unlike our own. Among other things, he offers this instruction, which might not be a bad slogan: "Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you." (Romans 15)

I like this, because it is rooted not in our own benevolence but in belief about God's action in Christ, the ways we have been welcomed. It is rooted in a doctrine of grace, of love from which we can never be separated. Think about ways that you in your spiritual journey have been welcomed by Christ. How would you describe that experience? (Maybe you want to journal a bit about that this week.)

Think about how Christ welcomed those he met. By going outside his comfort zone, emptying himself as the letter to the Philippians describes it (included above). By crossing religious, ethnic, social, gender boundaries of his day. By meeting with people he shouldn't have met with. By offering them a path to transformation, a new way of life. By finding what God was up to in the neighborhood, among Samaritans and other foreigners, criminals, outcasts, scary people possessed by demons, lepers, pariahs, Pharisees, tax collectors, soldiers, rebels, rich people, poor people, and marvel of marvels, good, religiously observant people. Each one of us fits in there somewhere. Each one of us has had grace extended to us. A sign that we really know that grace will be our ability to show that grace to others.

And once we've reflected on how we have been welcomed, perhaps we can explore ways to welcome others in that spirit. What would that look like?

Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful for those signs of welcome on street corners. Maybe they just need to say more, something like "The Episcopal Church welcomes you as Christ has welcomed all of us."
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